Newell Rubbermaid Inc. agreed Jan. 13 to sell its Curver housewares business in Europe to Jardin International Holding BV.
Jardin International shares common ownership with Israeli housewares major Keter Plastics Ltd., but it is not directly linked with Keter, said a Jardin International spokesman. For months, Keter has been rumored to be in negotiations with Newell Rubbermaid to buy part or all of Rubbermaid. Keter is owned by the Sagol family.
Curver had sales of about $140 million in 2004. Its product lines include home and food storage, cleaning, closet organization, laundry, bath and refuse removal. It runs plants in Spain, Luxembourg, Poland, Hungary and the Netherlands, said Newell Rubbermaid spokeswoman Susan Masten.
Keter's product lines substantially overlap Curver's. Keter also has European subsidiaries. Jardin Netherlands BV and EOS (Denmark) make garden furniture, and Allibert makes bathroom and home improvement products.
Keter, based in Herzliyya, Israel, acquired Allibert last year.
Keter officials were unavailable to explain whether the Curver business could be integrated with Keter operations in Europe.
Newell Rubbermaid of Sandy Springs, Ga., is selling Curver to focus on core operations, said the firm's chief executive officer, Joseph Galli, in a news release. It expects to complete the deal by the end of the first quarter. The deal will lead to a noncash loss of $75 million to $95 million, which Newell Rubbermaid will absorb in its first-quarter results.
Jardin agreed to pay $5 million cash when the deal closes. It also agreed to payments of as much as $25 million based on earnings results for the next five years, and another $5 million within 12 years contingent on working capital adjustments.